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Chris

Xenonauts-2 Closed Beta Build V14 Released (Experimental Branch)

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Closed Beta Build V14 has now been released on Steam and GOG. Note that this build is only available on our Experimental branch so you'll need to switch over to get this update (instructions on how to do that here).

This is the first public release we've put out in a while and it is primarily intended to test the stability of the game, because we've added quite a lot of new features and also made changes to some fundamental technical systems like the map loading and line of sight. A little balancing work has done but we'll be releasing V15 relatively soon and we'll be looking at game balance properly in preparation for that update - for now this is just checking that our new stuff works.

The build is quite an important milestone for us, as with the addition of Night Missions, Base Defence Missions and the UFO hiding system we have now implemented almost all of the core gameplay systems that were present in X1 into X2. This means we can now finally start experimenting with new stuff!

Because there's been so many small changes, this post is just going to highlight some of the high-level changes that have happened since the last build!

Changelog Highlights:

  • Night Missions: the game now supports night missions, which work the same way as in X1 except the aliens now have differering view ranges at night. Psyons can see just as well at night than they can during the day, whereas Wraiths literally glow in the dark and are therefore quite easy to fight at night.
  • Base Defence Missions: this system is now implemented and functional, but the assets for the individual rooms aren't set up (so you'll fight in a base with the correct layout but largely empty rooms). Base attack missions are now spawned by "threat", which accumulates based on the number of UFOs you have shot down. Defence turrets have now been added to the base and they can be upgraded via a workshop project when you unlock the appropriate weapon tier.
  • New UFOs & Hull Hiding: we've moved away from the previous "grey box" UFOs and returned to the more visually interesting X1-style UFOs. The first five UFOs are in the game now, the first three being textured models and the two after that being blockouts. The hull-hiding system that we used in X1 where the floorplan of the UFO appears as soon as you see the interior space has also been implemented (and it proved *really* complex to do in 3d).
  • AI Move Nodes: it's now possible for us to paint waypoints for the aliens that control their movement and facing. Currently these are only used inside UFOs and I haven't had a proper chance to test them yet, but they should ensure aliens are (usually) facing in intelligent directions to allow them reaction fire when you enter rooms. The system should also encourage the aliens to move around more within UFOs, so there should be more instances of aliens bursting into rooms or popping outside the front door than there was in X1.
  • New Maps: as we've made some changes to the way maps load, I had to create a fresh set of maps. Each of the six crashsite biomes now has three different maps for the smaller UFOs and two maps for the medium-sized UFOs, plus there's three alien base maps and a raid map for each biome. This is the bare minimum number of maps to be able to play the game; we'll be steadily increasing the number of maps as development continues.
  • Map Selection System: we've also implemented a system that tracks the maps the player has encountered and tries to select maps they haven't seen before, picking alternate Biomes where possible (based on the location of the mission). This should make the map selection less repetitive than in X1 and it should become steadily more effective as we add more maps (and possibly biomes) to the game.
  • Combat - Level Height & Shroud: each height level in the ground combat is now 2.25m tall instead of 3m tall, as we found the taller walls were getting in the way of the camera. Objects in the shroud are now hidden too, rather than their black silhouettes visibily encroaching on the play area. Together these two changes make the maps feel less cluttered.
  • New Art: there's some new art on both the strategy and the ground combat. There's a couple of new aircraft and UFO paintings on the Geoscape and we've found a new artist to paint the UI screen backgrounds; you can see a finished example of his art on the Soldier Equip screen and the other management screens are using layout sketches at the moment - but we're expecting to finish them in the next 6-8 weeks. You'll see a mix of old and new artstyles in the ground combat missions now as there's a lot of assets for us to work through, but now the game is becoming properly playable we're going to start spending more time polishing that up in future builds.
  • New functionality:
    • Personnel are now unique per base, and in V15 bases will have their own engineering queues. It's now only items that are shared between bases (which we'll eventually get round to updating).
    • The first advanced dropship is now in the game and functional. This is currently using the Shrike design from X1 but we're planning to rework it to a new design.
    • The Quantum Decoder (i.e. Hyperwave Decoder) is now in the game and functional.
    • The Medical Room now improves the survival chance of your soldiers when built, and in V15 it will correctly improve their healing rate too.

Hopefully this build feels a bit more solid than our older ones, and I'm looking forward to adding some shiny new features that weren't in X1 into the game soon. Let us know if you encounter any problems with V14 so we can push out any hotfixes that are required - otherwise we'll be starting preparation for V15!

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Congratulations to you Chris and the team! It's been a while, so it's great to see such a long and fundamental change list.

Quote

The hull-hiding system that we used in X1 where the floorplan of the UFO appears as soon as you see the interior space has also been implemented (and it proved *really* complex to do in 3d).

I dread to imagine the difficulty. There's a couple of bugs in X1 that are related to the hull-hiding and UFO visibility, and those proved too tricky for me to fix, so they're still in the game.

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Thanks for the new Version Beta 14 that we can test again after 4 Month of waiting.

After the little Test yesterday evening (very late it were there for Download) I get stocked for the Bugfixes, new Implementations and Such that come in. You can see some differences from beginning on to the Versions we tested before.

The Ground-Action-Maps run smother now, the hurt Soldiers are not ready for a Mission, the Refit for the Planes (fighters) work correctly again incl. the implemented big Rockets, the grounded UFO´s look great again and much more. ;)

The only thing I wish to have is a similar Armor-Info for the Planes (Fighters) like the Cevlar Vest for the Soldiers / Armor for the MARS. An example: 100 HP´s for the MARS with 0 Armor (Scout-Version) or 100 HP´s with 30 Armor (Tank-Version) from Steel Armor.

The Planes (Fighters) have only HP-Upgrades from 200 to 300 with the Armor-Change in Steel-Armor. An example here: 200 HP´s with 50 Armor (maneuverable Fighter) / 200 HP´s with 100 Armor (heavy Fighter) with Steel Armor. The repair of the Planes (Fighters) are to long in refit HP´s in the same Info. There should be a system like the Sickbay for the Soldiers which come in Beta 15.

Three more Things you can see too at first sight: You have Base-Defenses now, which is :cool:. The Archive get overworked and new Archive-Articels get in, which is :). But therefore the Training Center for the Soldiers / Technicans / Scientists are gone, which is :(.

More I haven´t seen in my short Test from yesterday evening. If there is more to detect I will let you know. But the first look for the new Version looks very good. 

Edited by Alienkiller

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I downloaded the new version and encountered a bug: if you left click on a hangar tile in the base screen the game crashes and exits to the desktop.

 

 

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On 10/28/2020 at 6:25 PM, markador said:

I downloaded the new version and encountered a bug: if you left click on a hangar tile in the base screen the game crashes and exits to the desktop.

Oh, yeah - thanks. We'll get that fixed. It's generally better to post this stuff in the bug report forums (although this bug has already been reported) but I appreciate the feedback anyway.

On 10/28/2020 at 8:46 AM, Alienkiller said:

Three more Things you can see too at first sight: You have Base-Defenses now, which is :cool:. The Archive get overworked and new Archive-Articels get in, which is :). But therefore the Training Center for the Soldiers / Technicans / Scientists are gone, which is :(.

Glad you're enjoying it. The Training Center and training system will be back and working in V15 in two or three weeks from now. There will be quite a few new features and improvements coming in V15 actually - this build is only really a test build to check everything is working properly!

On 10/28/2020 at 8:36 AM, Solver said:

Congratulations to you Chris and the team! It's been a while, so it's great to see such a long and fundamental change list.

I dread to imagine the difficulty. There's a couple of bugs in X1 that are related to the hull-hiding and UFO visibility, and those proved too tricky for me to fix, so they're still in the game.

Thanks. Things are starting to come together now so you'll be seeing a lot more activity from us over the next few months!

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